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    Dying Light 2: Stay Human review


    What is it? A first-person open world parkour action game set in the zombie apocalypse.
    Expect to pay: $60/£54.99
    Developer: Techland
    Publisher: Techland
    Reviewed on: RTX 2080, Intel i7-9700K , 16GB RAM
    Multiplayer: Co-op

    I land a flying two-footed kick into a bandit and send him screaming off the edge of a roof and onto the zombie-filled streets below. Over the past 50 hours of Dying Light 2, this has become my singular goal: kick dudes off roofs. The city is in peril from far more than just zombies, I have a half-dozen unfinished side-quests in my journal, and my map is littered with icons imploring me to scavenge resources, discover new locations, and undertake parkour challenges. 

    Sorry. Can’t do any of that right now. Somewhere in the city another bandit is standing too close to the edge of another rooftop.

    And reaching that rooftop is just as much fun as kicking someone off it. To get there I slide down ziplines and bounce off jump-pads, swing like Spider-Man from the rope of my grappling hook, sail through the air with my fold-up paraglider—or I just climb, clamber, wall-run, and ledge-grab my way there. Dying Light 2 is a huge and exhilarating playground for crunchy, kinetic, two-footed combat and satisfying first-person parkour. It doesn’t start out like that—there’s a few long hours before the game really opens up and gets fun, and there’s a lot of not-so-great storytelling along the way. But it’s worth it.


    Welcome to the European city of Villedor, a sprawling mess of decaying and crumbling buildings with scores of zombies shambling through the streets and pockets of survivors camped out in barricaded safe zones. As Aiden, a travelling do-gooder (called a pilgrim), I’ve arrived in search of my long-lost sister, Mia, following several convenient flashbacks that show we were the victims of medical experiments as children before being separated. After discovering a vaccine for the original zombie virus, scientists continued messing around until they goofed big-time and unleashed an even deadlier version of the disease upon the world. One particularly evil scientist, a man named Waltz, may hold the key to finding my long-lost sister and my long-delayed revenge.

    To find Waltz, I need to ingratiate myself with the locals, who are distrustful of outsiders and only give out information in exchange for favors, though thankfully those favors often involve kicking jerks off rooftops. There are two main factions in Villedor—the Survivors, a grubby yet hearty clan who build little farms and safe zones on the rooftops, and the Peacekeepers, who dress in blue combat gear and act like the cops of the apocalypse. When Aiden arrives the two groups are at odds owing to the recent unsolved murder of a Peacekeeper commander, and it’s not long before Aiden’s eager-to-help attitude gets him wrapped up in the drama between the factions.

    (Image credit: Techland)

    Before launch developer Techland said Dying Light 2 would take players 500 hours to fully complete, not just the main story quests but sidequests, challenges, activities, secrets, etc. After playing I almost believe it. Dying Light 2 is a big game, y’all. The city is simply massive, filled with activities and random encounters and rooftop skirmishes, and even with a glider and other parkour toys just crossing a single district takes a good long time. Villedor is even bigger than a cursory glance of the map suggests because there are regions that sprawl well outside the borders. After finishing the story I ran along the edge of a district and discovered there’s a whole underwater portion of the city I didn’t even know existed. This game is huge.

    After the 50 hours it took me to complete the main quest, about a dozen sidequests, and a bunch of other activities, I still have plenty to do in Dying Light 2, and I’m keen to keep playing. Hell, even after wrapping up the story there are still a bunch of skills I haven’t unlocked, quests I haven’t begun, and large sections of the city I’ve barely set foot in—not to mention plenty of bandits I’ve yet to set foot on.

    As seen on PCgamer

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